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Understanding the drivers and barriers for legume uptake by farmers in Europe: ScoFu® Product Development Internship Report

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Abstract and Figures

Mindful eating and food awareness is on the rise, and with this, consumers are paying more attention to what they eat and shifting away from the traditional meat-based products to natural, plant-based and eco-friendly options. The over 16,000 different varieties of existing legumes around the world provide an enormous range of possibilities to be explored besides the very well-known chickpeas, lentils, beans and peas. Legume-based food products are an important source of vegetable protein but also have important environmental benefits. This encouraged the development of a faba bean tofu, which is a healthy food product, suitable for various segments of the population with different food consumption patterns. This product will promote the consumption of faba beans but also provide an alternative ingredient for consumers with soy allergies or dietary restrictions. The problem to overcome however, was the strong bitter flavor obtained when the faba bean isolate powder was produced. The scope of this research was to identify a process that eliminated the bitterness of the faba bean tofu, therefore, culinary experimentation along with scientific literature reviews led to the development of an acceptable faba bean tofu, which as stated by the sensorial analysts resembles a soybean tofu block, with the color and aroma of fresh grass or nature and a characteristic beany flavor. Further experimentation should focus on the improvement of the texture but overall results were successful and they even lead to the development of other food products yet unknown in the European market. The experienced gained during this professional internship with the PlanTech department of Catholic University of Portugal, enhanced the knowledge and understanding on the process to follow in order to create a food product and provided a suitable food product prototype to be improved and commercialized in the near future.
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Understanding the drivers and barriers for legume uptake by farmers
in Europe: ScoFu® Product Development Internship Report
By:
Jazmín Rocío Osorio Pérez
A report submitted for the degree of:
Master of Science
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree
Sustainable Management of Food Quality, EDAMUS
Advisor: Marta Wilton Vasconcelos
Co-advisor: Chantel Davies
~
Institutional representative: Luis Albisú, Instituto Agronómico Mediterráneo de Zaragoza
Porto, Portugal 2018
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Abstract (English)
Mindful eating and food awareness is on the rise, and with this, consumers are paying more
attention to what they eat and shifting away from the traditional meat-based products to
natural, plant-based and eco-friendly options.
The over 16,000 different varieties of existing legumes around the world provide an
enormous range of possibilities to be explored besides the very well-known chickpeas,
lentils, beans and peas. Legume-based food products are an important source of vegetable
protein but also have important environmental benefits. This encouraged the development of
a faba bean tofu, which is a healthy food product, suitable for various segments of the
population with different food consumption patterns.
This product will promote the consumption of faba beans but also provide an alternative
ingredient for consumers with soy allergies or dietary restrictions.
The problem to overcome however, was the strong bitter flavor obtained when the faba bean
isolate powder was produced. The scope of this research was to identify a process that
eliminated the bitterness of the faba bean tofu, therefore, culinary experimentation along with
scientific literature reviews led to the development of an acceptable faba bean tofu, which as
stated by the sensorial analysts resembles a soybean tofu block, with the color and aroma of
fresh grass or nature and a characteristic beany flavor.
Further experimentation should focus on the improvement of the texture but overall results
were successful and they even lead to the development of other food products yet unknown
in the European market.
The experienced gained during this professional internship with the PlanTech department of
Catholic University of Portugal, enhanced the knowledge and understanding on the process
to follow in order to create a food product and provided a suitable food product prototype to
be improved and commercialized in the near future.
3
Abstract (French)
La prise de conscience des consommateurs pour une alimentation plus responsable est en
hausse. Ces derniers font davantage attention à ce qu'ils mangent et délaissent les produits
traditionnels à base de viande pour adopter des options naturelles, à base de plantes et
respectueuses de l'environnement.
Plus de 16 000 variétés différentes de légumineuses existent dans le monde et offrent une
vaste gamme de possibilités à explorer en plus des pois chiches, lentilles, haricots et pois,
déjà très connus. Les produits alimentaires à base de légumineuses sont une source
importante de protéines végétales mais présentent également des avantages
environnementaux importants. Ce constat a encouragé le développement d'un tofu à base de
fèves ; un produit alimentaire sain, adapté à divers segments de la population ayant des
habitudes de consommation alimentaire différentes.
Ce produit favorisera la consommation de fèves, mais fournira également un ingrédient
alternatif aux consommateurs souffrant d'allergies au soja ou ayant des restrictions
alimentaires spécifiques.
Le principal problème à résoudre était la forte saveur amère obtenue lors de la production de
la poudre d'isolat de fèves. L'objectif de cette recherche était d'identifier un processus qui
élimine l'amertume du tofu fait avec cette poudre. Par conséquent, les expérimentations
culinaires et l’exploitation de la littérature scientifique existante ont abouti à la mise au point
d'un tofu à base de fève de qualité acceptable. Selon les analystes sensoriels, ce tofu a un
aspect extérieur similaire au tofu de soja, une couleur et un arôme d'herbe fraîche ou de
« nature » et une saveur caractéristique de haricot.
Une expérimentation plus poussée devrait porter sur l'amélioration de la texture, mais les
résultats globaux ont été positifs et ont même conduit au développement d'autres produits
alimentaires encore inconnus sur le marché européen.
L'expérience acquise au cours de ce stage professionnel au sein du département PlanTech de
l'Université Catholique Portugaise a permis d'améliorer les connaissances et la
compréhension du processus à suivre pour créer un produit alimentaire et d’obtenir un
prototype de produit alimentaire qui pourrait être commercialisé prochainement.
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Table of Contents
Abstract (English) ......................................................................................................................... 2
Abstract (French) .......................................................................................................................... 3
Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... 4
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 6
Importance of Legumes ................................................................................................................... 6
Legume based diets ........................................................................................................................ 7
The importance of faba bean .......................................................................................................... 8
Nutritional content .......................................................................................................................... 9
Nutraceutical properties ................................................................................................................ 12
Tofu and the market ...................................................................................................................... 15
Novel foods ................................................................................................................................... 17
Research question .......................................................................................................................... 18
Objectives ......................................................................................................................................... 19
Materials and Methods ................................................................................................................... 20
Experiment one: Getting acquainted with tofu and ScoFu® ........................................................ 20
Experiment two: ScoFu® revised.................................................................................................. 22
Experiment three: Seasoned ScoFu®............................................................................................ 23
Experiment four: Using frozen faba beans ................................................................................... 24
Experiment five: Faba bean starch ............................................................................................... 25
Experiment six: Improving ScoFu’s® texture ............................................................................... 26
Experiment seven: ScoFu® with flour from Guatemala ............................................................... 27
Experiment eight: Tannin-free faba beans .................................................................................... 28
Experiment nine: Drying green faba beans .................................................................................. 29
Experiment ten: The ideal ScoFu® ............................................................................................... 29
Supplementary Experiment: Traditional Guatemalan drink ......................................................... 31
Results .............................................................................................................................................. 32
Figure 2: ScoFu® Color Evaluation............................................................................................. 32
Figure 3: ScoFu® Appearance Evaluation ................................................................................... 33
Figure 4: ScoFu® Taste Evaluation ............................................................................................. 34
Figure 5: ScoFu® Texture Evaluation ......................................................................................... 35
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Figure 6: ScoFu® Odour Evaluation ............................................................................................ 36
Discussion ......................................................................................................................................... 37
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................................ 42
Acknowledgments ........................................................................................................................... 42
References ........................................................................................................................................ 43
Annexes ............................................................................................................................................ 48
Annex 1 ......................................................................................................................................... 48
Annex 2 ......................................................................................................................................... 49
Annex 3 ......................................................................................................................................... 50
Annex 4 ......................................................................................................................................... 53
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Introduction
Importance of Legumes
Around the world, legumes are the primary plant-derived source of protein intake, and they
contain a very rich fiber, micro nutrient and amino acid profile that compliments adequately
the one of the cereals and grains (Rehman, 2018). There are over 16,000 different species of
legumes but the most popular include beans, peas, peanuts, soybeans, alfalfa, faba, lentils
and chickpeas.
Besides providing different essential nutrients, legumes also have environmental benefits,
since they have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen, and reduce the need for chemical
fertilization. Environmental changes have threatened agricultural systems and crop yields,
and research has shown that changes in agricultural practices, such as including legumes in
cropping systems, can substantially improve agricultural yields and the quality of crops
(Scheelbeek, 2018).
In summary, legumes provide multiple benefits, such as:
Nitrogen fixation: Soil bacteria strains, known as Rhizobia, penetrate the legume’s
roots creating nodules that bind the nitrogen found in the atmosphere which provides
a source of nitrogen to the plant in exchange for the carbohydrates needed by the
Rhizobia (Fujita, 2014).
Soil improvement: Rotating agricultural crops with legumes can improve soil quality
by increasing the soil’s organic matter, its porosity and structure. It can help decrease
the pH levels in the soil and diversify the microorganisms that live within it but also
alleviate plant or soil disease problems (Sun, 2016).
Nutritional benefits: Consuming legumes in a regular basis represents a healthy and
environmentally friendly practice to obtain minerals like iron, potassium, selenium,
magnesium and zinc but also vitamin B complex, fiber and proteins from the diet. In
addition to this, legumes contain saponins, tannins and other antioxidants that are
associated with a lower risk of developing cancer (Mudryj, 2014).
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Legume based diets:
Whether it is for health or environmental purposes, plant based diets are increasingly popular,
oftentimes in detriment to meat-based diets among the population world-wide.
Meat consumption can be based on tradition, availability or price and it is difficult to make
equitable comparisons between countries or regions when the amount and type of meat
consumed in each country will depend on the social, political and religious context but also
on the geographical differences. Meat based diets are very prevalent in meat-producing areas
of the world like Uruguay, Australia or New Zealand where the average meat intake is 300 g
per person per day against the average intake of 10 g per person per day in countries like
India, Indonesia or Sri Lanka (FAO, 2018).
In the US, the recommended daily intake of protein for an adult is up to 56 g of protein
coming from a mixed diet, which means coming from animal and plant sources. But research
shows that the real protein intake of an American adult is approximately 77 g of animal
protein and 35 g of plant protein per day which adds up to a daily intake of 112 g of protein
per capita. It could be speculated that lacto-ovo-vegetarian or plant based diet consumer
would have a more controlled protein intake, but studies have shown that the average protein
intake for this diet group is about 89 g per day, also above the national food guidelines
(Pimentel, 2003).
However, the key in these two comparisons are the sources and quality of protein that is being
consumed. Plant protein sources are 100% free of cholesterol, VLDL or Very Low Density
Lipoproteins and LDL or Low Density Lipoproteins. The accumulation of these type of
lipoproteins in the blood can lead to the development of atherosclerosis and many
cardiovascular complications. Plant protein sources are also filled with antioxidants, HDL or
High Density Lipoproteins and omega 3 and 9 oils which combined with the high content of
fiber that this type of protein contains, they oxygenate and alleviate the formation of blood
clogs or fatty plates in the arteries, which is the beginning of the atherosclerosis process.
This is not the case with animal based protein diets where intake of cholesterol, VLDL, LDL
along with free radicals might be high, depending on the cooking method, the animal protein
cut and source (Clarys, 2014).
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All of these properties make a difference between the protein intake coming from animal or
plant sources and it is why the inclusion of daily doses of legumes can control and even
prevent the development of chronic diseases like heart and coronary disease, diabetes
mellitus and colon cancer (Shiao, 2018).
Legumes are often found in the daily meals of people all over the world, and these can be
consumed as a main meal, part of it, as a snack, drink or desert. They are also combined with
cereals because of the deficient content of essential amino acids in cereals that if combined
with legumes, provides a more nutritious meal.
Processing legumes enhances their digestibility and overall sensorial qualities by creating
new aromas, textures and aspects. One of the most important steps into processing legumes
is dehulling which allows reducing cooking time and preserve the heat-sensitive proteins but
also soaking which removes tannins, of which its presence is attributed to flatulence problems
(Siah, 2013).
Heat treatment often inactivates the anti-nutritional enzymes present in legumes and allows
full absorption of their nutrients but also improves the flavor and acceptability of the meals
prepared with them, some of these methods can be roasting, toasting and frying (Siah, 2014).
The wide availability of legumes around the world, the health benefits of their consumption,
environmental impact of consuming them for a more sustainable diet and the recent ethnic
food trends has led to the motivation of developing food products that are healthy and suitable
for various segments of the population around the world with different food consumption
patterns.
The importance of faba bean:
All faba beans belong to the Fabaceae family and are scientifically identified as Vicia faba
L. but different common names may be found across the world, including broad bean, horse
bean, field bean or even simply fabas or beans. Is not clear where faba beans originated from,
however it is believed that the most primitive forms of the bean, encompassing plants with
short stature and small grains, were found in Pakistan and in India.
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Larger seed types (Vicia faba major) started to develop along the Mediterranean countries
and China and these were the types brought into the Americas during the sixteenth century,
while some medium size seeds (Vicia faba equina) can be found in northern Africa and the
Middle East (Duc, 2007).
This plant is an annual crop that requires cool conditions in order to grow ideally and stands
out for being very resistant to adverse weather conditions. In 1971, president Nixon in the
United States, banned the exportation of soybeans to the world, in order to “recover”, from
their losses in production during world war II, this event is known as the crisis of the soybean
market, and led countries like France and Italy to begin experimenting with soybean crops,
realizing that they were actually very good producers. During this same period of time,
scientists developed adapted genotypes of Vicia faba that could cope with weather
uncertainties, and this is how short-strawed, stiff-strawed, early-flowering, winter-hardy,
Ascochyta and Botrytis resistant, high in protein, zero-tannin, low in vicine or low in
convicine genotypes started being developed (Crépon, 2009) .
Some of these improvements aim to reduce the unwanted characteristics of fabas, like the
presence of vicine and convicine, which are two glucosides found to cause favism in humans.
This is a condition characterized by four prevailing symptoms which are fatigue, pallor,
jaundice and haemoglobinuria; all of these can be experimented after 24 hours or less after
consumption of the faba beans and it is potentiated by the genetic deficiency of erythrocyte
glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) (Getachew, 2018).
Nutritional content
As other pulses, faba beans are a good source of protein, carbohydrates, calories and fiber. It
is important to remember that the nutritional content of the beans will vary according to the
geographic location they are coming from, the harvest conditions of the plant and if the beans
are fresh or dry. They are also high in minerals and vitamins, being rich sources of
phosphorus, iron, potassium and some vitamins from the B complex (USDA, 2018). Fabas
are sensitive to terminal moisture stress and drought is a menace for yield stability. This is
why a type of adaptation for this conditions needs to be introduced to the bean gene pool in
order to improve the cultivars. Thus, germplasm selection of traits has made possible to create
10
and improve different types of faba beans with different nutritional profiles but also that adapt
to climate change effects (Khazaei, 2013).
The nutritional composition of fresh raw faba beans may be found in Table 1 below. Faba
beans are a source of dietary fiber (4.2 g) and contain an important quantity of protein (5.6
grams) in 100 grams of beans (EFSA, 2018). The vitamin and mineral profile, as described
above, is also rich whereas the trans-fat and cholesterol content is zero.
Table 1: Macro nutrient composition of raw, immature seeds of faba beans. Adapted from
the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA, 2018)
Table 2: Vitamin composition of raw, immature seeds of faba beans. Adapted from the
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA, 2018)
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With regards to minerals, it can be seen that faba beans contain important quantities of iron
and potassium (EFSA, 2018), but also calcium.
Table 3: Mineral composition of raw, immature seeds of faba bean Adapted from the
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA, 2018)
Faba beans are saturated fat-free and high in polyunsaturated fat (EFSA, 2018, Table 4).
Table 4: Lipid composition of raw, immature seeds of faba bean Adapted from the
National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA, 2018)
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Nutraceutical properties:
If a certain type of food contains nutrients that benefit the human health or prevent disease,
it is entitled to be a nutraceutical food (Duranti, 2006). This term is derived from the words
“Nutrition” and “Pharmaceutical” and even when it is a commonly used term for marketing,
there is no regulatory definition for it (Karla, 2003).
Nutraceuticals or functional foods comprise all types of food that can be source of nutrients
or substances with a nutritional or physiological effect associated to their consumption. They
can be ingested in order to correct deficiencies, maintain a healthy state of being or improve
metabolic functions (EFSA, 2018).
Faba beans are an important source of vegetable protein as seen in Table 1. These are not
only a good source of energy and muscular tissue but also precursors of bio-peptides with
important physiological functions and benefits for the health (Mohanta, 2013).
Legumes protein content can be up to 38-40% of their dry weight in some species, reason
why they are considered one of the richest food sources of amino-acids available for human
consumption. The most abundant proteins found in legumes are globulins, but they are
deficient in methionine, cysteine and tryptophan (Duranti, 2006). They possess higher
amounts of lysine than cereal grains and it is why mixing cereals with legumes is
recommended in order to obtain a better nutritional profile in the meal. (Bressani, 2010).
Four main benefits of the consumption of fabas have been suggested and are supported by
the following evidence:
1. A better prognosis of cardiovascular disease is associated to the frequent consumption
of dry legumes combined with a low saturated-fat diet (Blazos, 2016). This type of
diet controls the lipid homeostasis and reduces the risk of having a cardiovascular
event. The main agents involved in this effect are the high content of fiber, low
glycemic index and the presence of oligosaccharides and phytosterols (Petersen,
2017).
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2. The combination of high fiber content and low glycemic index on legumes is also
beneficial for the control of diabetes, which has proved to control the glucose curves
and avoid the development of spontaneous peaks. Dry legume consumption prevents
insulin-resistance, which is considered the first step into the development of type II
diabetes (Singhal, 2014).
3. Another benefit associated to the high fiber content of legumes is the acceleration of
intestinal tract digestion, which contributes to a healthy digestive tract able to
decrease the rate of re absorption of cholesterol, lowering the fermentation process
and a better elimination of incomplete starch digestion (Kane-Diallo, 2018).
4. Lastly, legume benefits provide a long term satiety effect in consumers that could
reduce the daily food intake and prevent over-eating that delays or inhibits weight
gain (Robello, 2014).
Table 5 in the next page, presents a compendium of recent scientific research and literature
that references the previously discussed benefits associated to the consumption of faba beans
and legumes.
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Table 5: Compendium of scientific research referencing benefits associated to the
consumption of faba beans and legumes.
15
Anti-nutritional compounds are also present in legumes and affect the digestibility of protein,
bio availability of amino acids and the protein quality of foods (Gilani, 2012). Faba beans
may contain anti nutritional substances that cause the inhibition of the release of some
digestive enzymes like amylase, trypsin or chymotrypsin, which stops the absorption of some
of the nutrients present in fabas and legumes in general. This unwanted effect however, only
occurs in the consumption of uncooked legumes and the resulting heat denaturation from
cooking inactivates these compounds, allowing the nutrient absorption and enzyme release
to be efficient (Gaxiola, 2018).
Tofu and the market:
This ancient product originated in Asia, originally attributed to China and Japan, this product
is now consumed worldwide and it’s the main substitution for animal protein in the
vegetarian diet. Tofu is created by the coagulation of the soy drink obtained after pressing
the soybeans with water and cooking them. It can have different levels of firmness and
seasonings which allow infinite culinary applications ranging from appetizers and snacks to
main dishes and desserts (Golbitz, 2015).
There are some main types of tofu, which are:
1. Firm tofu: Is a type of fresh tofu, produced directly from the soy drink obtained after
pressing the grains. This type of tofu has a low amount of moisture and the texture is
comparable to cooked meat because of its rigidity. This type of tofu is commonly
used for stir-fry dishes, soups and grilling (Shurtleff, 2013).
2. Soft or silken tofu: This type of tofu is also fresh but left un-drained and un-pressed.
This type of tofu has the highest moisture content of all and the texture is smooth and
fragile. Applications for this type of tofu are to make sauces, dessert or drinks
(Hackett, 2013).
3. Processed tofu: Derivative products of fresh tofu which go through different
technological treatments to increase the shelf-life but also to improve the shape or
flavor. Products in this category can be, tofu burger patties, tofu eggs or tofu
cheesecake (Shurtleff, 2013).
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4. Fermented tofu: During fermentation, the flavor and texture of the tofu is altered, this
tofu is often cut into cubes and inoculated with bacterial spores that cause the
fermentation. Once it has reached the desired level, it’s placed in a brine made of rice,
wine and salt along with other spices. Fermented tofu has a soft and creamy texture.
This products are often consumed as a main dish in order to appreciate the flavors
(Shurtleff, 2013).
5. Flavored tofu: Is made by adding additional flavors into the soy drink mixture. Some
of the common flavors added are fruits or egg, this not only enhances the tofu's flavor,
but also alters the texture (Shurtleff, 2013).
Tofu possess an important nutritional value, since it’s a high in protein and calcium product
but also low in fat and calories (Hackett, 2013). Due to this high level of protein, tofu is used
as the main substitution of animal protein and studies have shown that its consumption
provides many health benefits, as previously discussed in the section above.
Food awareness and vegetarian trends during the last years, were essential components in the
rise of the tofu market. Individuals began to accept healthier options in food and
progressively inclined towards plant-based products. This is where tofu producers expanded
and presented infinite tofu items like tofu hot dogs or ice cream.
Geographically, the global tofu market is segregated into North America, Europe, Asia
Pacific, Middle East & Africa and Latin America. Asia Pacific remained as the dominant
market on 2016, where countries like Japan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam,
Indonesia and Thailand generate major revenue in the region.
North America is anticipated a rapid growth rate during 2017-2025, this mainly attributed to
the increasing awareness among consumers about the benefits of tofu (Market Research,
2016).
Graphic 1 below, presents the process to make artisanal soybean tofu.
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Figure 1: Artisanal tofu making process (adapted from Shurtleff, 2013)
Novel foods:
As defined by the European Commission, a novel food is defined as “Food that had not been
consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997 […].” and a
novel food can be newly developed, innovative food or food produced using new
technologies, as well as food which is or has been traditionally eaten outside of the EU”.
The European Commission also establishes that a novel food product must be safe to be
consumed, properly labeled in order not to mislead consumers and if it’s replacing an already
existing product it should never create a nutritional disadvantage for the consumer who is
switching to the consumption of the novel food product from the one it’s replacing (European
Commission, 2018).
Beginning
Wash the soy beans, and
soak them in water for 12
hours
Mill and grind the soaked
beans into a paste
Simmer the paste with
water over heat for
approximately 15
minutes
Drain the soy drink from
the paste using a
cheesecloth
Add Nigari (MgCl2) to
the recovered liquid and
mix it in thoroughly
After 15 minutes, pour
the curds into a mould
and apply pressure on to
the tofu
Remove the tofu from
the mould after 15
minutes. (For firmer tofu,
press for longer)
End
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As stated by the Michelin food trends for 2018, ethnic foods but also plant based food seems
to be on the rise and consumers are willing to change or alter their food behavior into
something more healthy, plant-based but that also possesses a different culture background
than regular food. In addition to these characteristics, consumers are also more aware of the
precedence of food and the valorization for local food is also on a rise (Tan, 2018).
Research question:
¿Is it possible to create tofu made with faba beans (Vicia Faba L.) that is organoleptically
acceptable?
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Objectives
The main objective of this research study was to develop a food product that is healthy and
suitable for various segments of the population with different food consumption patterns, and
to use a legume grain as the main ingredient.
Specific objectives:
1. Introduce a different style for consumption of faba beans (Vicia faba) into the market
in order to increase the level of usage of this legume.
2. Create awareness on the health benefits attributed to the consumption of fabas.
3. Benefit from the booming flexitarian and plant based food trends in order to introduce
a plant based product into a more receptive market.
4. Provide an alternative ingredient like faba for consumers with soy allergy or dietary
restrictions to soy-based products.
5. On the long term, motivate the consumption of plant based products not only for their
health benefits but also in order to create a more sustainable food chain in the long
term.
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Materials and Methods
In order to initiate the product development research, 500 grams of faba bean protein
concentrate (BPC) obtained by air fractionation were provided from the James Hutton
Institute, the coordinator entity of the H2020 project Transition paths to sustainable legume
based systems in Europe (TRUE) based in Scotland, United Kingdom. Using this first flour
as control, ten experiments were developed until the right ingredients and processing method
of faba bean tofu was found. A description of the main methods, objectives and results of
each of the formulated experiments can be found below. For images, please see Annex 4.
Experiment one: Getting acquainted with tofu and ScoFu®
This experiment was the first approach to ScoFu®. Before initiating the current project
preliminary experiments stated that the main problem with tofu made with faba bean was the
strong bitter flavor. The aim of this experiment was to identify how ScoFu® looked, tasted
and behaved in comparison to traditional tofu (soy based).
Therefore, a recipe found on the web for tofu and the recipe provided by the TRUE project
for faba bean tofu were manufactured to then compare one product against the other, identify
the organoleptic characteristics of ScoFu® and to create new hypothesis based on the results
obtained.
In order to determine the effects of the coagulants on the final flavor of tofu, two different
samples of tofu mixture were prepared and divided in two containers to be able to use MgCl2
(known as nigari) in one of the samples and CaSO4 (known as Gypsum) in the other.
To create soybean based tofu:
1. The day before the experiment, 120 grams of dry Glycine max (soybeans) beans were
soaked in 500 mL of tap water for 24 hours. The next day, beans were rinsed with tap
water before processing and added to the blender (Blendtec Commercial) where 1000
mL of tap water were added to blend the mixture until the beans were completely
destroyed. The mixture was then filtrated using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) placed over
a plastic kitchen strainer.
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2. The mixture was divided into two stainless steel saucepans and taken to an industrial
stove (Olis) where 250 mL of tap water were added to each of the mixtures in the
saucepan and then heated until it reached 100 °C that was measured using a food
thermomether (Lacor).
3. The mixture was then removed from the stove and set aside to cool down until it
reached 80 °C. At this point, the two types of coagulants (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved
in 50 mL warm tap water) and (2 grams of CaSO4 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water)
were added in 3 different parts into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon
to incorporate the coagulant in a homogenous way.
4. The soybean mix was set aside to rest for 15 minutes in order to let it coagulate and
form curds. After this time passed, the curds were placed inside the tofu press
(Tofuture D2M) and set aside for 20 minutes to create a block of tofu. After this time,
the tofu block was removed from the press and placed in a plate for tasting and
analysis.
To create faba bean based tofu:
1. As mentioned before, a sample of faba bean protein concentrate was used to create
the first version of ScoFu®. For this, 120 grams of flour were placed in the blender
(Blendtec Commercial) where 1000 mL of tap water were added and the mixture was
blended until the powder was completely incorporated with the water. The mixture
was then filtered using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) and placed over a plastic kitchen
strainer.
2. The mixture was divided into two stainless steel saucepans and taken to an industrial
stove (Olis) where 250 mL of tap water were added to each of the mixtures in the
saucepan and then heated until it reached 100 °C that was measured using a food
thermomether (Lacor).
22
3. The mixture was then removed from the stove and set aside to cool down until it
reached 80 °C. At this point, the two types of coagulants (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved
in 50 mL warm tap water) and (2 grams of CaSO4 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water)
were added in 3 different parts into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon
to incorporate the coagulant in a homogenous way.
4. The faba bean mixture was set aside to rest for 15 minutes in order to let it coagulate
and form curds. After the time passed, there were no traces of coagulation, so a second
dosage of coagulants (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) and (2
grams of CaSO4 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) were added to their respective
saucepans and set to rest for another 15 minutes.
5. Once the second coagulation time had passed, the coagulation level of the mixture
was very poor but the mixture was placed though in the tofu press (Tofuture D2M).
After 80 minutes inside the press, the ScoFu® block was removed from the press and
placed in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Experiment two: ScoFu® revised
The aim of this experiment was to determine if a reformulation of the original recipe would
reduce and/or change the ScoFu’s® organoleptic results obtained with experiment one.
In order to identify what would be a more adequate concentration of flour for the final
product, two different mixtures were prepared, one with 75% of the original flour quantity
and the second using only 50% of the original quantity. Along with it, the possibility of
utilizing different coagulants was also explored. Ascorbic acid (C6H8O6) and Acetic acid
(CH3COOH) were used for each of the dilutions in order to test the organoleptic results of
these modifications.
1. The dilution of 75% of bean protein flour was made using 85 grams of flour, while
the dilution of 50% was made using 64 grams of protein flour. Both of these dilutions
underwent the same procedure described below.
23
2. The bean protein flour was blended along with 250 mL of tap water in a blender
(Blendtec Commercial) for 15 seconds until a purée was formed to then add another
500 mL of tap water and continue to blend for 20 seconds more.
3. The mixture was transfered into a stainless steel saucepan and taken to an industrial
stove (Olis) where it was heated until it reached 80 °C that was measured using a food
thermomether (Lacor).
4. The mixture was filtrated using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) placed over a plastic
kitchen strainer to remove the foam and the recovered liquid was set aside to cool
down and continue the process.
5. Once the mixture had reached 65°C, the two types of coagulants (45 mL of C6H8O6)
and (45 mL of CH3COOH) were added in 3 different parts into the mixture while
stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate the coagulant in an homogenous way.
6. The faba bean mix was set aside to rest for 15 minutes in order to let it coagulate and
form curds. After this time passed, the curds were placed inside the tofu press
(Tofuture D2M) and set aside for 60 minutes to create a block of tofu. After this time
passed, the tofu block was removed from the press and placed in a plate for tasting
and analysis.
Experiment three: Seasoned ScoFu®
Once a better dilution of the faba bean protein flour was found, the possibility of adding other
condiments to the final product was explored. During literature search, it was found that some
other types of tofu are mixed with condiments (spices or brine) that allows the product to
develop a different range of flavors. This is how the idea of replicating burmese tofu arose;
this type of tofu is made using chickpea flour, tumeric, paprika and salt. For the purpose of
this experiment, the chickpea flour was substituted by faba bean protein flour and the rest of
proportions and procedure was kept as the original.
24
1. In a stainless steel bowl, 32 grams of faba bean protein were mixed with 80 mL of
tap water, a fork was used to stir in order to create a homogeneous mix.
2. Once the flour was completely diluted, 500 mg of paprika, 500 mg of turmeric and
200 mg of salt were incorporated to the mixture and stirred with the same fork.
3. In a stainless steel pan, 40 mL of tap water were brought to a boil using low heat and
once the water started to boil, the flour mixture was added while mixing it with a fork.
It was set to cook for four minutes and extra 20 mL of tap water were added to soften
the mix once it was cooked.
4. The mixture was removed from the saucepan and extended in a heat resistant glass
container and covered with aluminum foil to be placed in the refrigerator (Olis) at a
temperature of 8°C for one hour. Then it was removed from the container and placed
in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Experiment four: Using frozen faba beans
Experiment four was designed to be able to use green frozen fabas and examine the
organoleptic results obtained when using a different ingredient than the bean protein
concentrate.
Peeled, raw, frozen faba beans were bought in a local supermarket (Froiz). In order to
preserve the quality of the beans they were soaked in tap water for 20 hours previous to be
processed.
1. In a plastic container, 375 grams of frozen green fabas were placed inside and covered
with tap water to be defrosted during 20 hours of soaking.
2. The next day, faba beans were removed from the container and rinsed to then be
placed inside a blender (Blendtec Commercial) with 600 mL of tap water. They were
blended for 25 seconds until the mixture was completely homogeneous to be filtrated
25
using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) on top a plastic strainer in order to remove the pulp
from the liquid.
3. Once the liquid was recovered completely, it was taken to simmer in low heat inside
a stainless steel saucepan and heated for ten minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Once it was removed from the heat, 2 grams of MgCl2 were sprinkled over the faba
bean liquid and stirred with a wooden spoon in order to incorporate it to the mixture.
This was set aside to rest for coagulation to develop. However, after 20 minutes
passed the coagulation degree was minor, so 3 mL of CH3COOH were added to the
mixture and set to rest for coagulation another 20 minutes.
5. After the time passed, the curds were recovered with a spoon and placed inside the
tofu press (Tofuture D2M) and left to be pressed for 24 hours in total. The next day,
the final product was recovered and placed in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Experiment five: Faba bean starch
Three types of ScoFu® were developed, one with 100% starch flour, another with 100% of
protein flour and a third one composed of 50% of starch and 50% of protein flour.
1. In order to create the tree types of ScoFu®, 120 grams of the 100% starch and 100%
protein flour were measured. For the 50% starch and 50% protein tofu, 60 grams of
each flour were measured and mixed together.
2. Once the flour was prepared, it was placed in the blender (Blendtec Commercial)
where 250 mL of tap water were added at first to blend the mixture and after 15
seconds another 500 mL of tap water were added to continue blending for 20 seconds
more. The mixture was then filtrated using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) placed over a
plastic kitchen strainer.
26
3. The mixture was poured into stainless steel saucepans and taken to an industrial stove
(Olis) where it was heated for 10 minutes in low heat while stirring constantly.
4. The mixture was then removed from the stove and set aside to cool down where the
coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 disolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added in 3
different parts into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate the
coagulant in a homogenous way.
5. The faba bean mixtures were set aside to rest for 20 minutes in order to allow
coagulation and curd formation. After the time passed, the coagulation level was
minimum and a second dosage of coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL
warm tap water) was added to each mixture and set to rest for another 20 minutes.
6. Once the second coagulation time had passed some foam was removed from the
mixtures using a stainless steel spoon and then the mixture was placed in the tofu
press (Tofuture D2M). After 24 hours inside the press, the ScoFu® were removed
from the press and placed in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Experiment six: Improving ScoFu’s® texture
Experiment number six was focused on finding a processing method that could ameliorate
the texture of ScoFu® and make it more palatable. The cheesecloth used in all the previous
experiments was substituted by a cloth coffee filter, used to obtain a less dense liquid.
1. The flour used for this experiment was 100% faba bean starch and 120 grams of flour
were placed in the blender (Blendtec Commercial) where 250 mL of tap water were
added at first to blend the mixture and after 15 seconds another 500 mL of tap water
were added to continue blending for 20 seconds more.
2. The mixture was poured into a stainless steel saucepan and taken to an industrial stove
(Olis) where it was heated for 10 minutes in low heat while stirring constantly.
27
3. Once it was hot, the mixture was filtrated using a cheesecloth (Grade #40) over a
plastic strainer to then filtrate the recovered liquid a second time using a cloth coffee
filter. The coagulant was added (2 grams of MgCl2 disolved in 50 mL warm tap water)
while stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate the coagulant in an homogenous
way.
4. The mixture was set aside to rest for 20 minutes in order to it coagulate and form
curds. After the time passed, the coagulation level was minimum and a second dosage
of coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added to
the mixture and set to rest for another 20 minutes.
5. Once the second coagulation time had passed, the mixture was placed in the tofu press
(Tofuture D2M). After 3 hours, the mixture had leaked out completely from the press
and the recovered sample was not adequate for tasting or analysis.
Experiment seven: ScoFu® with flour from Guatemala
In order to test if the roasted faba bean flour from Guatemala would create an acceptable
version of ScoFu®, the same process used so far was developed but using the previously
mentioned flour.
1. To create the block of tofu, 120 grams of flour were placed in the blender (Blendtec
Commercial) where 250 mL of tap water were added at first to blend the mixture and
after 15 seconds another 500 mL of tap water were added to continue blending for 20
seconds.
2. The mixture was poured into a stainless steel saucepan and taken to an industrial stove
(Olis) where it was heated for 10 minutes in low heat while stirring constantly.
3. The mixture was then removed from the stove and set aside to cool down where the
coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added in 3
28
different parts into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate the
coagulant in a homogenous way.
4. The mixture was set aside to rest for 20 minutes in order to let it coagulate and create
curds but after the time passed, the coagulation level was weak so a second dosage of
coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added to the
mixture and set to rest for another 20 minutes.
5. Once the second coagulation time had passed, the mixture was placed in the tofu press
(Tofuture D2M). After 3 hours inside the press, the ScoFu® was removed from the
press and placed in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Experiment eight: Tannin-free faba beans
A sample of dry tannin-free faba beans was gently provided by Prof Albert Vandebnerg
(University of Saskatchewan, Canada) to test if the product would have a different taste when
removing the tannins from the bean.
1. The tannin free beans were weighted and placed in a stainless steel skillet to toast
them using low heat in an electrical burner (Ufesa Professional Chef) in order to be
able to control the amount of heat applied to the sample. The beans were constantly
stirred with a wooden spoon for 45 minutes until the beans were completely toasted.
2. Once the beans had cooled down, they were placed inside a food processor (Kenwood
Kcook Multi) and milled in the highest speed for 3 minutes. The flour was recovered
and strained using a small plastic strainer to separate the bigger parts from the flour.
After, all the big parts recovered were milled a second time using a smaller food
processor (Moulinex) that pulverized the remaining residues into flour.
3. There was not enough flour to create a block of tofu, therefore, the flour was blended
with 500 mL of tap water and heated under low heat in the industrial stove (Olis) in
order to taste and analyze the organoleptic properties of this mixture.
29
Experiment nine: Drying green faba beans
The objective of this experiment was to determine a procedure that allowed to dry green faba
beans in order to make flour with them.
1. One day before the experiment took place, two samples of 500 grams of frozen green
fabas were soaked in water over the night in order to defreeze them gently but also to
be able to remove the hull manually before drying.
2. The dehulled fresh fabas were placed in aluminum trays that were placed inside the
industrial tray drier (Armfield) that was set to 60 °C and an air flow of 1. After 3
hours and 30 minutes, the fabas were removed from the dryer to be cooled down.
3. The sample was divided in two parts in order to mill one part using the food processor
(Moulinex) that pulverized the beans into flour and a second part of the sample was
toasted using a stainless steel skillet over low heat in an industrial stove (Olis), cooled
off and then milled into flour using the same food processor.
4. There was not enough flour to create a block of tofu, therefore, the flour was blended
with 500 mL of tap water and heated under low heat to analyze the organoleptic
results.
Experiment ten: The ideal ScoFu®
Liofilization and oven drying were explored in order to find alternative procedures to dry
green fabas with a higher final yield.
1. For this trial, two samples of 500 gr of green frozen faba beans were placed in a
lyophilizer (Benchtop SLC) at a stable temperature of -85 °C for three days and the
30
second sample, in a laboratory oven (Binder WTB) at a constant temperature of 65
°C for two days.
2. Once the samples were recovered, they were completely dry turned into flour using a
big food processor (Kenwood Kcook Multi) where the samples were milled in the
highest speed for 3 to 5 minutes. The flour recovered was filtered using a cheesecloth
(Grade #40) over a plastic strainer to separate the bigger parts from the flour and then
all the recovered parts were milled a second time using a smaller food processor
(Moulinex) that pulverized the remaining big residues into flour.
3. Once the flour was obtained, two different blocks of tofu were prepared, one with
liofilized fabas and a second one with oven dried fabas. For both samples the same
procedure described below was followed, the only variation was the type of flour.
4. To create the ScoFu®, 120 grams of flour were placed in the blender (Blendtec
Commercial) where 250 mL of tap water were added to blend the mixture and after
15 seconds another 500 mL of tap water were added to continue blending for 20
seconds.
5. The mixture was poured into a stainless steel saucepan and taken to an industrial stove
(Olis) where it was heated for 10 minutes in low heat while stirring constantly.
6. The mixture was then removed from the stove and set aside to cool down where the
coagulant (3 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added in 3
different parts into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon to incorporate the
coagulant in a homogenous way.
7. The mixture was set aside to rest for 20 minutes in order to let it coagulate and create
curds but after the time passed, the coagulation was deficient and a second dose of
coagulant (2 grams of MgCl2 dissolved in 50 mL warm tap water) was added to the
mixture and set to rest for another 20 minutes.
31
8. Once the second coagulation time had passed, the mixture was placed in the tofu press
(Tofuture D2M). After 24 hours inside the press, the ScoFu® was removed from the
press and placed in a plate for tasting and analysis.
Supplementary Experiment: Traditional Guatemalan drink
The idea of recreating a common traditional hot drink from Guatemala emerged. This drink,
commonly known as “Atol de Haba was prepared with the faba bean flour from Guatemala.
Two more variations of this drink were prepared using the flour made in experiment 8 and 9
but being tofu the main objective, no further experimentations of the drink followed.
1. In order to prepare one liter of faba bean drink, 500 mL of tap water, 10 grams of
white sugar and two sticks of cinnamon were placed in a stainless steel saucepan and
taken to an industrial stove (Olis) where it was heated until it boiled.
2. At the same time, 150 grams of faba bean powder were being mixed with 500 mL of
tap water in a stainless steel bowl using a plastic whisk. Once the mixture was diluted
and homogeneous, it was added to the boiling water, stirring non-stop.
3. The mixture was then cooked for 10 minutes in medium-low heat while stirring with
a wooden spoon to avoid burning or sticking. After this time, the drink was placed in
a cup for tasting and analysis.
32
Results
This section presents the results of the organoleptic evaluations of ScoFu®. Figures two to
six are the representations of the results obtained during the evaluation of color, appearance,
taste, texture and odor for each of the ScoFu® products generated during the experiments.
This evaluation was made by the same five volunteers along the development of this whole
research and the evaluation comprised a 1-9 hedonic scale, which is often suggested for
sensory evaluation of food products (Annex 1).
The obtained colors for ScoFu® ranged from opaque grey to beige and from yellow to green.
Value 0 in the image below is used to represent the fact that in experiment 8 and 9 no ScoFu®
was produced, only the faba drink was prepared and considering this is not the same product,
the results were not be included in the graph.
Figure 2: ScoFu® Color Evaluation, Shows the 1 9 hedonic scale of sensory evaluation.
(1 represents: dislike very much and 9 represents: like very much).
33
The highest score obtained in the color evaluation corresponds to the color obtained in
experiment 10, corresponding to bright green color and the second highest was also, bright
green. The less appealing color for the evaluators was the color obtained on experiment 1,
where ScoFu® had an opaque grey tone and the color of experiment 7 where tofu had a
roasted brown color.
In terms of appearance, the evaluation was made in order to assess the resemblance of the
final product to a block of soy tofu. Value 0 in the image below represents the experiments
where no ScoFu® was produced, experiment 8 and 9, so the original characteristics for
appearance evaluation were not applied, leaving the results of these two experiments out of
the graph results.
Figure 3: ScoFu® Appearance Evaluation, Shows the 1 9 hedonic scale of sensory
evaluation. (1 represents: dislike very much and 9 represents: like very much).
34
The highest score obtained in the appearance evaluation corresponds to the results obtained
in experiment 10, corresponding to a seamless block that did not crumble apart nor lost its
shape once removed from the press, other good results were obtained during experiment 2
and 5 but these were more related to the combination of color and brightness than to the shape
and resemblance of the product to a block of soy tofu.
Taste is crucial for a new product formulation, during these experiments, taste was difficult
to control, since besides the coagulant (which confers no flavor) the only product present was
faba beans and any type of processing, altered the flavor in a significant way. Most of the
differences were obtained while using the faba bean protein isolate flour, which had a strong
bitter flavor and different combinations of spices were added in order to mask this flavor.
However, this flour ended up being substituted by fresh faba beans and the variations of
flavor, related only to an added step which was roasting the beans before processing them
into flour.
Figure 4: ScoFu® Taste Evaluation, Shows the 1 9 hedonic scale of sensory evaluation.
(1 represents: dislike very much and 9 represents: like very much).
35
The highest score obtained in the test evaluation corresponds to the results obtained with
experiment 10, however this experiment contains two final products and they possess
complete different flavors one from the other. One, resembles to bean and grass while the
other contains roasted and caramel notes. Value 0 in the previous graph represents the
experiments where no ScoFu® was produced, which are experiment 8 and 9, leaving the
results of these two experiments out of the graph results.
Results for texture were the less successful during experimentation, ScoFu®’s texture was
never identical to the texture of the soybean tofu, but improvements were achieved during
experiment 5 and 10. Value 0 in the image below represents the experiments where no
ScoFu® was produced, which correspond to experiment 8 and 9 and for these two, no
evaluation was included in the graph results.
Figure 5: ScoFu® Texture Evaluation, Shows the 1 9 hedonic scale of sensory
evaluation. (1 represents: dislike very much and 9 represents: like very much).
36
The results for odor evaluation of ScoFu® were diverse and as other organoleptic aspects
evaluated, the odor results resembled bitter, Mediterranean, wet dirt, caramel, roasted and
more. Value 0 in the image below represents the experiments where no ScoFu® was
produced, and experiment 8 and 9 were those. Therefore, no evaluation of odor for these
experiments, is presented in the graph.
Figure 6: ScoFu® Odour Evaluation, Shows the 1 9 hedonic scale of sensory evaluation.
(1 represents: dislike very much and 9 represents: like very much).
The highest score of this evaluation was experiment 10, which contains two final products
with different aromas. One of the samples evokes the thought of green beans or grass when
smelled while the other, resembles a toasted or caramelized product.
The less appealing smell corresponds to experiment 1 and 2 where the faba bean protein
isolate was being used as a primary ingredient in ScoFu®, once this ingredient was altered
with spices (experiment 3) or eliminated (experiment 4) the odor evaluations improved.
37
In this next section, a graphic description of the successful ScoFu® process is presented. Out
of the ten previously performed experiments, this process is the combination of all the
successful steps and results obtained, that came together to create and good final product.
Figure 7: Procedure to make ScoFu® (TRUE,2018)
Discussion
As any product development project, ScoFu® is the result of many trials and ideas that
generated not only at the moment of experimentation but during literature research, results
during processing, cooking videos and replications of similar products.
With the aim of increasing the availability and consumption of plant-based protein food
products in the market, the idea of ScoFu® was proposed. This is the short name for Scottish
Beginning
Add faba bean flour and
water in a food blender to
make a thick puree
Add more water to the
puree to create bean
‘milk’
Heat up in a non-stick
pan whilst stirring
continuously
Allow the mixture to
cool and then add the
previously dissolved
coagulant
Gently mix the coagulant
through the mixture and
leave for >20 minutes to
form curds
Line the tofu box with
the rinsed cheesecloth,
and scoop the curds into
the box
Press the tofu for 24
hours inside the
refrigerator and drain the
liquid periodically
End
38
Tofu, a product developed during this research which uses faba beans to create a tofu
alternative product.
One of the objectives of this product is to promote faba bean and legume consumption,
because of the nutraceutical benefits mentioned above, but also for sustainability principles.
Based in all of these characteristics is that a food product like ScoFu® became a reality,
where it’s possible to consume a healthy, plant based product, in a shape of tofu to attract
ethnic food enthusiasts but produced with locally grown fabas, which creates a sustainable
product with low carbon footprint but also which could be a source of employment and
development of farmers in the area of production.
Based on the EFSA regulations presented at the beginning of this report, ScoFu® is not
considered a novel food product, since faba beans are consumed in the Mediterranean region
on a regular basis and there is no added value or nutrient in the final product that differs from
the beans in their natural state
The creation of the final product required different approaches and ideas, since flavor at the
beginning, and texture throughout experimentation, were the biggest challenges to overcome.
Once proved that the faba bean protein was the source of bitterness in the product, new blends
of faba bean flour were created. Six of the experiments held, were trials to evaluate which
was the best faba bean flour and ScoFu® while using different culinary techniques and
technology.
Aside from the tofu experiments, the faba bean drink mentioned in the methodology of
experiment 7, was prepared for tasting of the evaluators and supervisors. This is a traditional
hot, dense drink, made of toasted faba beans. It is commonly called atol de haba and the flour
to make this drink can be purchased in the big supermarkets, packed under aseptic conditions
but also in the local markets where the flour is manufactured in an artisanal way by the
farmers.
In order to test if this flour would create an acceptable version of ScoFu®, the same process
used for ScoFu® was replicated but using the flour from Guatemala as the main ingredient.
Results were acceptable in terms of taste and appearance, which led to other experiments
trying to replicate this same flour from scratch, however in the process, better flavors and
39
results were obtained, so the idea of using this flour for ScoFu® was abandoned and left to
be explored as a drink or morning porridge.
On experiment 8, a sample of dry tannin-free faba beans was gently provided by Prof Albert
Vandebnerg (University of Saskatchewan, Canada) to test if the bitterness flavor was
associated with the tannins, and to test if roasting dry beans would resemble the taste and
smell of the Guatemalan faba bean flour. The roasting turned out to be too aggressive and
masked the flavor of faba beans in the final product, so no further trials were held with this
bean sample.
The results of the hedonic evaluation of each organoleptic characteristic of ScoFu® are the
graphic representation of the most and less successful experiments.
The color of ScoFu® (Figure 2) proved to be more appealing when it was closer to the color
of green fabas, consumers were able to associate the block of tofu with the main ingredient
(green fabas). Experiment 10 and 4 were the highest scores in the color evaluation because
both final products presented a strong, bright lime-green color.
The appearance of a product (Figure 3) is strongly related to the results in color and texture,
and while these can be considered to be more important aspects, other characteristics need to
be considered to make a proper evaluation. It is necessary to consider the size, shape, gloss
and surface irregularity and it’s the combination of all these attributes that grants a more
entire evaluation of the appearance (Hutchings, 2004).
Here, the yellow color in tofu that was given by the turmeric added to the mixture, was also
agreeable for consumers but there was no association with the color or the Mediterranean
food smell that this condiment conferred to the ingredients being used, the Asian food smells
or the expected bean-flavor in tofu that was being masked by this condiment. Based in all
these, the addition of turmeric was not pursued and the lime-green color was defined as
satisfactory.
ScoFu® was successful to achieve the right color as discussed before but there is still an
opportunity for enhancement in the texture of the product, which is a topic to be discussed
ahead.
40
However, ScoFu’s® size and shape were set to be similar to the one of soy-bean tofu from
the beginning of the experiments as the aim of this product is to be an alternative of an already
existing product. For this purpose, a tofu press was used to create the faba tofu blocks, in
order to preserve the same shape and size of soy-bean tofu. Brightness is relative since
ScoFu® is green and soy-bean tofu is white, therefore it reflects more light naturally. The
surface of the final product is also satisfactory, it’s dry and firm but can be easily cut with
minor pressure.
The taste of the final product was the most acceptable in experiment 10 and 7 (Figure 4),
however these two products were completely different one from another and the decision of
the final ScoFu® was made considering all the organoleptic results and not only flavor, which
sometimes is considered to be the crucial category.
For experiment 10, the faba beans were dry and green, conferring a plant-like bean flavor to
the product whereas in experiment 7, the fabas were ripe and toasted which created a roasted
flavor that almost eliminated the bean flavor in the product. Being both very pleasant, the
chosen flavor was the one given by green fabas, since as stated before, it related more to the
color, the expected faba flavor and the culinary applications of the product that would be
usually with vegetables, soy sauce or chili paste, which is the case with the soy-based tofu.
It is also important to mention that the coagulant (which is the only other ingredient in
ScoFu® besides the fabas) does not alter or change the flavor of the final product and its
presence it’s not perceivable.
As mentioned before, the texture (Figure 5) obtained in ScoFu® is not similar to the texture
of the soy-based product. Tofu is expected to be moist but brittle and firm enough to cut with
a knife or held with chopsticks. However the reduction of water or extended pressing time,
did not change the texture of the final product and further experimentation and research needs
to be made in this area in order to enhance the product’s acceptability.
During experimentation, it was found that increasing the time in the press for faba bean tofu,
made a more consistent and firm block after 24 hours and this was set as the optimal pressing
time, but increasing the time more than that did not affect the final texture of the product. It’s
41
important to mention that for pressing, the tofu press was set in the refrigerator to keep a cool
temperature at all time between 6 and 10 °C.
Being faba beans and coagulant the only ingredients of ScoFu®, the range of perceptible
smells was limited and the only dominant smell throughout experimentation was a smell that
resembled grass, wet dirt and/or beans. However, odor evaluation (Figure 6) varied along
experiments because of the addition of turmeric in experiment 3 and 4 but also because of
the different types of faba bean flour that were used. Experiment 7 had an appealing roasted
smell while experiment 10 had a green-y, faba bean characteristic smell. Experiment 1 and 2
were evaluated with the lowest scores because the bean protein concentrate had a very bitter
taste and it was perceptible with the aroma as well.
Overall sensorial characteristics evaluated during five months of experimentation led to the
development of a product that full filled most of the organoleptic aspects of a tofu substitute
like ScoFu®.
This product proposal was submitted to the Royal Society of Edinburgh start up competition
by the headquarters of the TRUE project where if selected as a winner, the other important
aspects of product development will be designed with the collaboration of local experts in
the topic. There will be funding applicable in market study, packaging, logo creating and
many other aspects of brand development.
The hot drink that was presented to the sensorial analysis evaluators was also successful in
terms of taste, texture, color, smell and appearance. Trials with green beans, toasted beans
and the store-bought flour from Guatemala were held aside of the faba bean tofu tasting and
further development on this product will be pursued after the time of this professional
internship.
42
Conclusion
The experience in research and development on the PlanTech department of Catholic
University of Portugal, enhanced the student’s knowledge and understanding on the process
to follow in order to create an alternative or different food product.
It was an opportunity not only to practice what was learned during this master but also to
explore abilities unknown and improve assets acquired along this two-year international
experience.
This internship has provided a career path to be explored and pursued in the professional life
and the tools and experience necessary to become part of a food company or food
development research center.
ScoFu® is a product substitute that will be delivered to the TRUE project headquarters that
complies with this research objectives but that also allows enhancement and adaptation to
the target market. A theoretical nutritional label for the product was developed by the student
as well (Annex 3) in order to demonstrate the nutritious product that ScoFu® can be.
As for the hot drink made of faba bean flour, there will be a follow up on this product that is
made of ripe, toasted fabas and can be a substitute for coffee, be consumed as a porridge or
oatmeal but also, (if milled to the right size) be turned into gluten-free granola or cookies
while the green faba flour developed could be used as a protein supplement for healthy fruit
shakes, soups or drinks.
Acknowledgments:
This work was funded by the project TRansition paths to sUstainable
legume-based systems in Europe (TRUE), which has received funding
from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation
programme under grant agreement No. 727973.
43
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Annexes
Annex 1: Hedonic Scale
The 9 point hedonic scale is one of the most used scales for the evaluation of food
acceptability. This scale was developed in 1955 by David Peryam in the United States and
since then it has been accepted for use all around the world with translations and adaptations
to different languages and public (Jones , 1955).
This scale distinguishes from the others by being much more discriminating and is now used
to evaluate not only food products but cosmetics, beverages and general products (Juyun,
2009).
Below, (Table 6) presents the numeric values, and the interpretation of them, that were used
to evaluate the organoleptic characteristics of ScoFu® during this experiment. The graphic
results presented in the above sections, were built using this scale.
Table 6: 9-Point Hedonic Scale
49
Annex 2: Nutritional Label ScoFu®
Figure 8: Nutritional Label of ScoFu®: Developed using EFSA guidelines for nutritional
labelling and the USDA’s food composition tables.
50
Annex 3: Raw material and equipment employed
Figure 9: On the left, green raw faba beans before processing. On the right, Nigari and
Gypsum coagulants.
Figure 10: On the left, the tofu press used to create the blocks. On the right, ScoFu® curds
ready to be pressed.
51
Figure 11: On the left, tannin-free faba beans in the process of roasting, on the right, same
beans being pulverized to flour using the food processor.
Figure 12: On the left, faba beans placed inside the tray-dryer equipment. On the right,
faba bean flour produced after pulverizing the dry beans.
52
Figure 13: On the left, faba beans inside the liofilizer to be dried with cold, on the right,
faba beans placed in the oven to be dried with heat.
Figure 14: On the left, faba bean flour from Guatemala, on the right, traditional hot faba
drink made with the flour on the picture.
53
Annex 4: Experiment Results ScoFu®
Figure 15: From left to right, the results of experiment number 1, 2 and 3.
Figure 16: From left to right, the results of experiment number 4 and 5.
54
Figure 17: From left to right, the results of experiment number 6, 7 and 8.
Figure 18: From left to right, the results of experiment number 9 and 10.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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